Williams, Joyce Lucy (nee Hall) (Civilian)

Joyce Lucy Hall was born in the September quarter of 1918 and was baptised on the 12th December 1918 in Rhyl the daughter of William & Frances HALL, 94, Millbank Road, Rhyl, Police Constable.

Joyce Lucy was the sister of Arthur Clayton Hall who lost his life in 1941 and who is remembered on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton WW2 War Memorial, please read his story and Joyce Lucy’s family history by clicking on the links.

The first time we see Lucy is on the 1921 census when she was living with her parents and siblings at 12, Golftyn Street, Connah’s Quay, where her father William Hall was now the Police Constable in Connah’s Quay.   William Hall was now age 29 years and 10 months and had been born in Shocklach in Cheshire.   Frances Hall was now age 32 years and6 months and had been born in Whitchurch, Shropshire.   Their children were:- James Kynaston Hall age 5 years 9 months, Arthur Clayton Hall, age 4 years 2 months and Joyce Lucy Hall age 2 years 9 months, all had been born in Rhyl, Flintshire.

I do not know when Joyce Lucy Hall met David George Williams, but they married on the 1st December 1939 at St. Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay, Joyce was age 21, a spinster and her address was the Police Station, Connah’s Quay, her father – William Hall, Police Sergeant.   David George Williams, was 28, a Foreman and his address was 3, Hawarden Way, Mancot Royal, Queensferry, his father was Samuel Williams.

Nearly 3 years were to pass, the war was at its worst and the Russians told Churchill that there needed to open a Second Front, with a Munitions Factory in South Africa, sending munitions through North Africa and then Italy, bypassing the oceans where so much carnage was taking place through the loss of ships.

Each Steel making company in Britain was told to supply 2 executives and Summer’s choice was their chemist John Harold Pickering and foreman David George Williams, taking their wives with them.   I  don’t know how that came about, whether it was volunteering, which Tom does not describe, it seems  there was no choice and it may have been for a long period, God alone would know how long the war would last, so the chances of seeing their loved ones again , at least for a long time was very slim.

One can only imagine William Hall’s trepidation when he heard of his only daughter’s move to South Africa.   The family, William, James Kynaston and Joyce Lucy had suffered the grief of the loss of his son and their sibling, Arthur Clayton Hall, in the sinking of the Oropesa the previous year.   Please click on the link to read his story.

So Joyce Lucy and David George were to set off on their adventure, the ship that they were sailing on was the S.S. Ceramic, sailing from Liverpool on the 23rd November, leaving the River Mersey on their way to a new life.

However I needed help to tell this story as I was not aware of the details of the Ceramic sinking until I went on the WW2talk Forum as I was researching Leonard Pratt, who is remembered on the Hawarden War Memorial and found out that he was on the same ship – the Ceramic!   Many thanks to them and in particular Kyle and TD who told me about the book, I am so glad that I bought it.

According to the wonderful book, “S.S. Ceramic, the Untold Story,”* written by Clare Hardy, whose grandfather, Trevor Winser was one of the 655 lives lost with the sinking of the S.S. Ceramic.   The sinking of the Ceramic was ranked the 23rd worst wartime shipping disasters.   David George & Joyce Lucy’s  ticket number was 295 on the Ceramic.   One can only wonder what they went through and how awful for the family left wondering and hoping.

*(ISBN 9781479369713).  Clare Hardy has given me permission to use any of the information in her book,”S.S. Ceramic – The Untold Story.”  Many thanks to her for her generosity

There is so much to read and the story is amazing, Clare Hardy has done such a wonderful job on it, the research is remarkable.   It tells of the history of the Ceramic and the events leading up to its sinking.

The newspaper reports, and there are many, tells us that the story didn’t end there as there was a survivor – a man called Eric Munday, who had been picked up by the submarine U-515 which returned after the sinking and found a boat with survivors in it, including Eric Munday and according to his story after the war, he was thrown a rope and he made it to the  submarine and was taken prisoner, but the Germans wouldn’t help the others in the lifeboat, they were left to the storm and their fate.    So in 1945, when Eric was released, the whole story was told.

So in the December of 1942, the stories of the sinking of the Ceramic came through the radio and newspaper reports, until in the end it was confirmed that the ship had gone down with all aboard.

William Hall did put his son’s name down for the memorial or at least perhaps James Kynaston Hall, her last remaining brother did, but I suppose they didn’t think about Joyce Lucy as she was a civilian, anyway we may never know, but I do think they should be on any new WW2 Plaque as they were going to do war work for the War effort.

Joyce Lucy & David George Williams and Elizabeth Elsie & John Harold Pickering are all remembered with the civilians who lost their lives on the Ceramic in St. George’s Chapel In Westminster Abbey and  Leonard Pratt who is on the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial is remembered on the El Alamain Memorial in Egypt.    Please click on the link to read his story.

There is a mystery with Joyce Lucy’s name on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission citation, as they have her name as Joyce May, but as can be seen in the book by Clare Hardy, her name on the passenger list was Joyce Lucy, so I can only presume that there was a clerical error somewhere, between the passenger list and the CWGC .

St. George’s Chapel In Westminster Abbey – Location: England, London – “Of the many civilians of the Commonwealth whose deaths were due to enemy action in the 1939-1945 War, the names of more than 67,000 are commemorated in the Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour, located near St. George’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey, London.”  




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